Early taxidermy was championed by adventurers and naturalists who, discovering wonders, wanted to carry specimens to study and enthrall supporters. (Sadly, it was some time before the preservative properties of arsenic were discovered. Animals were simply gutted and sewn back together, leaving their eyes, noses, and tongues to rot in a most unseemly way.) By the early 20th century, big-game hunting had elevated taxidermy to an art form but, even when hunting fell from favor, taxidermy maintained a very special place in our imagination. Today, artists like Sarina Brewer, Juan Cabana, and San Francisco’s own mouse mistress Jeanie M.'s works are collected, and twisted taxidermy contests pop up all over the country. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of creating a Fiji Mermaid or man-eating chimera, but have no idea where to begin. Well, taxidermy training isn’t cheap, but this is a chance to learn from a master. The Rabbit Taxidermy Class is a two-day comprehensive taught by Leah Wade of Quiet Science Taxidermy Studio. Each day lasts eight hours, but students will receive a prepared rabbit hide and a custom foam form (modern taxidermy is mounted, not stuffed) with which to create a museum-quality specimen. These techniques can be applied to any sized mammal, paving the way for your future Franken-gopher.
June 23-24, 11 a.m., 2012